Inzamam will be our captain for World Cup


They say you can’t win against Father Time but if you are Inzamam-ul-Haq, you sure can defy him much longer than most other mortals in the cut-throat world of international cricket.

Despite being substantially overweight during the best part of his career and a bit injury prone in recent times, the 36-year-old Pakistan captain has won numerous battles against the elements in a career that spans over almost a decade and a half and is looking forward to surviving all odds at least till next year’s World Cup in the West Indies.

Some former cricketers seriously doubt it but if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are the right people to judge his longevity, then you must be rest assured that the gentle giant would lead Pakistan in the Caribbean next spring.

“Unless there is any injury or illness, I firmly believe Inzamam would be our captain for the World Cup,” says PCB’s Director of Cricket Operations Saleem Altaf.

His comments that came during an interview with ‘The News’, only reiterate the Board’s confidence in Inzamam’s ability as a reliable batsman and a good captain. In the recent past all of PCB’s top officials including its chairman Shaharyar Khan and Director of Board Operations Abbas Zaidi have backed Inzamam as Pakistan’s captain for the World Cup. The Board has already made him team skipper till the end of this year but its officials are of the view that he would get another extension after the home series against the West Indies Indies.

“We would announce our captain for the World Cup soon after hosting the West Indies,” says Atlaf.

There may be some other candidates including Inzamam’s deputy Younis Khan, but when Pakistani cricket authorities will play spin the bottle a few weeks before sending their team to the West Indies, it would most probably point towards the maestro from Multan. “Who else can be a better choice to lead Pakistan than Inzamam,” says Altaf. “He is a top class cricketer who knows how to lead from the front,” he adds.

He could have added a lot of other plus points in that list like loads of experience and reliability. But what really makes Inzamam click for the PCB is most probably his ability to keep a volatile team like Pakistan gelled.

The fact that there hasn’t been any mishap in the Pakistani dressing room in recent times is credited to Inzamam’s ability to keep his players happy.

The Pakistan captain is also believed to have injected a strong feeling of spiritualism among his team-mates since taking over as the Pakistan captain. His motto it seems is: the team that prays together plays together.

All of this is being appreciated by the people pulling the strings in Pakistan cricket.

It is mainly because of the Board’s full support that has transformed Inzamam himself into one of Pakistan’s most influential captains since the great Imran Khan, in spite of the fact that there is a world of a difference between the leadership qualities of the two men.

Imran, with all his charisma, was a born leader. Inzamam, on the other hand, has been forced to become one.

Imran became a national hero by leading Pakistan to their only World Cup triumph in 1992 in Australia. Whether Inzamam can emulate his idol is a different question.

Inzamam’s critics doubt that Inzmam, a man struggling to keep himself fit, would be able to marshal his troops successfully in the World Cup and have been suggesting that the Board should appoint somebody younger and fitter for the job.

But for a man who has been battling against time with a considerable degree of success, defying his critics isn’t going to be a difficult job. He just has to keep himself in shape and let his bat do the talking.

Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on May 29th, 2006 with no comments.
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